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 Post subject: I, Fatty Tidbit #10: Two Interviews
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:17 am 
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These are two interviews that were originally posted by emma on the Zone in March. Stahl talks about I, Fatty and Johnny. The first is a fairly recent interview of Stahl and the second an interview with Stahl and Johnny from 2001. (Thank you, Emma!)



The Independent
March 15, 2005

The World According to …Jerry Stahl

Jerry Stahl is the author of I, Fatty', a fictional memoir of Roscoe Fatty' Arbuckle, the subject of Hollywood's first sex scandal. He also wrote the memoir Permanent Midnight', and Moonlighting', the hit television series

Why do we love a scandal?

Because it takes our attention away from our own horrific secrets. Scandal- envy is the plague of our times. It's certainly much more fun to obsess about Jacko than it is thinking about George Bush blowing up girls and boys all over Iraq.

How often do you think about your readers?

I tend to think about them when they are chasing me after readings. It's hard to ignore them at that point. Otherwise, if you're a novelist, thinking about your readers is very egotistical, because it presumes that you have some. When I'm feeling optimistic, I may fantasise about a reader or two.

Have you got what you deserved?

No. If I'd got what I deserved, I wouldn't be here. I'd be dead or behind bars.

Is fat funny?

I don't think it's particularly funny. Being a human being is essentially funny and tragic, but it doesn't really matter what you're wrapped in. In America, people like to obsess about skinny, anorexic, beautiful people, but that's only because Americans are such profound self-haters.

Michael Jackson. Discuss.

He's as close to Jesus as we're going to get these days. He's being slaughtered for the sins of an entire country. He's a lightning rod for everybody's loathing, because no one wants to look at the real crimes being committed.

When is the last time you lost your temper?

The thing about losing your temper is that you always end up looking like a bigger arsehole than the person you're mad at. I lost my temper for good about 15 years ago.

How famous do you want to be?

I've never wanted to be particularly famous and I'm not. I'm amazed anybody publishes me. At 38, I was working at McDonald's, so I'm just happy to have a job where I can wear my own clothes.

Johnny Depp is a fan. How does that feel?

It's wonderful. Depp is the most well-read guy I've met. He also said one of the cleverest things I've heard: "It takes a lot of money to lead a simple life."

What have drugs done for you?

Becoming an out-of-control heroine addict was a great career move. It wasn't calculated, but it gave me something to write about. I always say to aspiring writers: "The best thing you can do is to destroy your own life. Great material."

Why are we here?

We tried it there and it didn't work.

I, Fatty' by Jerry Stahl is published by Allison & Busby



WWD
Monday, October 29, 2001
STAHL TACTICS

By Sabrina Qutb

LOS ANGELES -- Leaning over his bowl of Canter's chicken-noodle, novelist Jerry Stahl explained the mysterious world of plushy-love to his good friend Johnny Depp. "d**k Chaney, for instance, is a plushy. Many people don't know this. Nickname: the chipmunk."

"So that's where he always goes," Depp says with a nod, setting down his Reuben under the thick yellow light of the old 24-hour deli on Fairfax.

"Yes," Stahl continues. "When everybody thinks he's in a bunker in Nebraska, he's actually just out hitting a plushy club in Du Pont Circle."

This exchange offers a bit of insight into the imagination of a man whose new book, "Plainclothes Naked" (William Morrow), lies at the dubious intersection of pulp fiction and crackhouse confessional. "I write stuff that to me is just life, and people think it's over the top," Stahl explains. "But over the top is such a relative term."

Before he can say more, an elderly gentleman approaches the table. From out of the blue, the old guy starts to beam. "Hey, Johnny. Listen, I want to tell you a joke." And there, as Stahl sits with Depp listening to a fellow who sounds as if he's just stepped off a stage in the Catskills, it's clear that he has a point. Not that this moment could do much to explain a novel about two crackheads on the trail of a nurse who has just swiped their photo of George W. hamming it up with his drawers down.

"It's a love story, really," Stahl insists in all seriousness. "I have this theory that love is damage craving similar damage. Two people who can't trust or be touched transcending the little box of pain and weirdness."

Earlier that day, Depp had given Stahl a small portrait of the author -- one that captured the Stahl's trademark focused stare and furrowed brow. Now, during lunch, Depp explains the gift. "When we met, I was left with a strong impression. I had a very small photograph, and so I went with my impression -- the residue, as it were," he smiles. "I was really just dealing with the residue of Jerry. The sauna didn't work, the high-colonic didn't work, so I painted him."

Stahl is lucky to have Depp -- especially in light of the fact that ever since his dark memoir about drug addiction, "Permanent Midnight," was made into a film starring Ben Stiller, he's found that people are often not sure how to deal with him. "I think some people do resent the fact that being a dope fiend and ruining the life of anyone who ever cared about me turned out to be a great career move," he explains.

"No, seriously, I was really lucky. You know, when I was 38, I was working at McDonald's. After that, it's all gravy."

Laughing at the pain is a trope that surfaces often in "Plainclothes Naked." "You're in pain -- what are you gonna do?" Stahl shrugs. "You laugh through your anguish because, otherwise, it kills you."

And to the aspiring novelist in all of us, he offers the following advice: "Destroy your life. Run it off the rails, burn yourself to the ground, and then write. What it does is give you compassion. You don't judge anybody anymore. That's worth trading your liver for, I think."



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:12 pm 
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Thanks, DIDHOT, for posting these again. I missed them when they were posted in March - I seem to remember just catching a sense of the highlights. It is lovely to read the comments about Johnny, of course, but there is some other cracking stuff in there as well. (Memo to self: must remember the point about losing one's temper.) :freaked:



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:26 pm 
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You're welcome, suec. There are a couple of lines in here that I really enjoyed:

Quote:
Why are we here?

We tried it there and it didn't work.
and
The thing about losing your temper is that you always end up looking like a bigger arsehole than the person you're mad at. I lost my temper for good about 15 years ago.


Wish I could say I left my temper behind! :-/



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:46 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
You're welcome, suec. There are a couple of lines in here that I really enjoyed:

Quote:
Why are we here?

We tried it there and it didn't work.
and
The thing about losing your temper is that you always end up looking like a bigger arsehole than the person you're mad at. I lost my temper for good about 15 years ago.


Wish I could say I left my temper behind! :-/


I agree with alot he has to say there. I like him alot. I bought the Permanent Midnight. Thanks DITHOT! Dont we all wish we could not get angry anymore. I wish I didnt today! :chill:



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if it's not, then it's not the end.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 3:27 pm 
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I'm rather fond of this part
Quote:
How often do you think about your readers?

I tend to think about them when they are chasing me after readings. It's hard to ignore them at that point.


He has rather a dry, acerbic sense of humor, doesn't he? I rather like that.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 3:30 pm 
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And the follow up line as well, theresa:

Quote:
Otherwise, if you're a novelist, thinking about your readers is very egotistical, because it presumes that you have some. When I'm feeling optimistic, I may fantasise about a reader or two.


Veronica, I watched the movie Permanent Midnight :yikes: but I haven't read the book.



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Wow! What a ride!
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:28 pm 
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I think I like the last paragraph best. There's a lot of truth in it. I like also your description of his humour, theresa.



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:38 pm 

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DITHOT got your pm and all I can say is :eyebrow: whatever you say :eyebrow: finished the book (1st read through) so late last night it was actually really early this morning :-O now with a hot drink in hand (non caffeinated beverages don't actually wake you up they just give you something to do with your hands while you're reading online) lets think about today's tidbit -

didn't read these the first time so thanks DITHOT for posting them again - there is a reference to Jesus & Michael Jackson in the first article that I really really want to comment on but I'm hoping that it might be raised again (at least the celebrity, Jesus reference) when we get to that part of the book - Stahl's Roscoe Jesus reference broke my heart - there's going to be lots to talk about -



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:03 pm 
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Lizbet, I think it is safe to say that the subject of celebrity and celebrity scandal will be brought up in the discussion! :cool: ;-)



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:22 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
And the follow up line as well, theresa:

Quote:
Otherwise, if you're a novelist, thinking about your readers is very egotistical, because it presumes that you have some. When I'm feeling optimistic, I may fantasise about a reader or two.


Veronica, I watched the movie Permanent Midnight :yikes: but I haven't read the book.


I havent seen it. I think I am going to have to rent it.



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if it's not, then it's not the end.

Today is a gift....Have Fun!
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:22 pm 
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Thank you to your good self DITHOTbaba, for posting these articles again. I particularly liked this quote:

Quote:
And to the aspiring novelist in all of us, he offers the following advice: "Destroy your life. Run it off the rails, burn yourself to the ground, and then write. What it does is give you compassion. You don't judge anybody anymore...


I find so often in life the people who do the most judging are the people who have done the least in the way of living. I really like Mr. Stahl's sense of humour. I've never read Permanent Midnight or seen the movie, the hear about it the more I'm thinking I should read it. That book list I'm gathering is really getting long, thanks to you ladies. :lol:

Live in Depp
Boo



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 Post subject: Re: I, Fatty Tidbit #10: Two Interviews
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:53 pm 

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:

Michael Jackson. Discuss. He's as close to Jesus as we're going to get these days. He's being slaughtered for the sins of an entire country. He's a lightning rod for everybody's loathing, because no one wants to look at the real crimes being committed.


MAYBE HOLLYWOOD WAS SO WICKED, BUSTER WROTE IN A LETTER, IT NEEDED A 300 - POUND JESUS TO DIE FOR ITS SINS. (pg. 195 I, Fatty

It's interesting that Stahl having used the Jesus : Roscoe reference in the book that he'd use it again with Michael Jackson I'm not sure it works the second time - but to talk about it anymore here may take away from a question you good moderators may have for us later -



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:59 pm 
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I can't tell you exactly what questions we have up our sleeve but it is safe to say that how the public treats celebrities will be a consideration! :shhh:



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Wow! What a ride!
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 Post subject: Re: I, Fatty Tidbit #10: Two Interviews
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:00 pm 
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lizbet wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:

Michael Jackson. Discuss. He's as close to Jesus as we're going to get these days. He's being slaughtered for the sins of an entire country. He's a lightning rod for everybody's loathing, because no one wants to look at the real crimes being committed.


MAYBE HOLLYWOOD WAS SO WICKED, BUSTER WROTE IN A LETTER, IT NEEDED A 300 - POUND JESUS TO DIE FOR ITS SINS. (pg. 195 I, Fatty

It's interesting that Stahl having used the Jesus : Roscoe reference in the book that he'd use it again with Michael Jackson I'm not sure it works the second time - but to talk about it anymore here may take away from a question you good moderators may have for us later -


when I first read that I was shocked but after thinking about it, the real sins is the things that Micheal went through as a child to get him to the mental state that he is in today but you can take it a step further what did his father & mother go through as children to make them the way they are? :tear: Its all very sad to think about.



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if it's not, then it's not the end.

Today is a gift....Have Fun!
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:40 pm 
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Thanks DITHOT for posting those. I really like Stahl's sense of humor. Kind of a mixture of HST and Tom Robbins. Although I didn't find I, Fatty very humorous, except in spots. I just kept thinking how sad of a life Roscoe led from the time he was a small child.

I have Permenant Midnight coming from netflix. Can't wait to see it, and possibly read Stahl's other books. Just adding them to the ever growing list.



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